Friday, March 12, 2010

Busy Day in Hinche; Almost Done

Our day started with rounds at the hospital today; I saw a baby who is 14 months old, and the size of 4-month old. He can't sit up or talk, and has obvious neurological delays. Maude, the translator who was with me last year for my first birth in Haiti, showed up, recently arrived in Hinche from Port au Prince. I started with the question I ask all my Haitian friends: are you ok? Is your family ok since the earthquake? Most of the answers have been pretty good, thank God. Maude, however, said she had been living in PaP and lost 2 of her 5 sons in the earthquake. Her oldest, and another. I have a cute photo of those little boys lined up in a row, in our truck, last March. I started crying, and Maude did not. She just said, well, we go on. I quit with the tears; if Maude doesn't cry, what business do I have to shed some? The stoicism of the Haitian people was never more clear. If they start crying, I believe they will never stop. So I gave Maude $20, a day's pay here for a translator, and told her God Bless You. She may have some work next week in Labor and Delivery.

Then a happier time: While my fabulous team of volunteers from Minnesota and New York organized our chaotic supply closet (THANK YOU!-Kelly, Sue, Jamie, Nancy, Katharyn!), I met Steve and Nadene's flight from PaP. Then I had the joy of showing them the building where we hope to house the Midwives for Haiti program in the near future. We're already teaching class there, and now hope to move over our storage, and soon, start a prenatal clinic and birth center. In the musty cinder blocks and dust, we see pink paint and a safe place for women in labor. Then, a load of donated military MRE's (70 cases) arrived by airplane that we signed for and directed to the orphanage. They will feed the families of the poorest kids who attend the school. The Marines get big props from everyone we hear talk about the earthquake after PaP-- they held it together. Proud to be from America.

Time to pack and go home. My luggage is empty; bags inside bags will be light and easy to check through. Tomorrow we'll view Port au Prince, God Help us/them. Then we'll fly home to where life is safer, the weather is colder, and the stars not quite as bright. The kids are loud tonight. This orphanage had 140 kids last December,now they are over 200, and kids are sharing their beds.

I will miss them, but be glad to see my husband and my home. I've dropped off a lot of money and aid, from a lot of friends: hired drivers, translators, bought handicrafts and artwork, and given donations to the feeding center where the poorest children are taken, and to this orphanage where the happiest kids in town are partying and playing soccer because they have a bed, a shower, education, 2 meals a day, and even a basketball court and a soccer field. And a big chunk of money to Flower of Hope school-- but that's a story for another day. I catch a ride to PaP at 6 am and better get to bed. Bon Nuit from Haiti---

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